Representing Pittsburgh & the Center Around the World

CEP faculty have active research programs and frequently travel across the U.S. and internationally to present their work to not only philosophy audiences, but also audiences at scientific, bioethics, and other disciplines' meetings. In addition to academic workshops and conferences, faculty attend meetings as consultants for national and international panels convened to discuss and debate policy, to construct international guidelines, and to govern domestic scientific agendas.

The Center is also home to a number of academic and professional events right here on CMU's campus. We often host visiting speakers, hold workshops, and meet to read challenging or important new work in the areas of Ethics & Policy. View our Events page to find out more about what's coming up.

What it Means When Scientists Disagree

Zollman at Scientific American

Center faculty member Kevin Zollman published an opinion piece at Scientific American.

Cities as Centers for Deliberative Democracy

Cavalier at Public Agenda

Center faculty member Robert Cavalier weighed in at Public Agenda about the growing use of deliberative fora in cities across America.

Developing the Basic Structure Model of Research Ethics

Wenner to be Caroline Miles Scholar at Oxford

Associate Director Danielle Wenner will spend February, 2019 as a Caroline Miles Visiting Scholar at the Ethox Centre at Oxford University.

Reconstructing a Crime Scene

Researchers use Cellphone Videos, Autopsy Reports, and Surveillance Footage

Jay Aronson contributed to the work of SITU Research to help reconstruct a scene where 4 police officers and 48 civilians were killed in Kiev. Read about it in the NYTimes.

The Limits of Relational Autonomy

Danielle Wenner at SueFest

Center Associate Director Danielle Wenner spoke at a workshop honoring the works of feminist philosopher and bioethicist Susan Sherwin.

Exploitation, Agency, and Domination in Transnational Surrogacy

Wenner and Gray speak at Canadian Bioethics Society

Associate Director Danielle Wenner and co-author Derrick Gray spoke at the Canadian Bioethics Society about the ethics of transnational surrogacy contracts.

AI Can Be Used for Good or for Ill

David Danks at AI For Good

Center faculty member David Danks reminds the audience at AI For Good that "AI might be for good, might be for ill, might be for profit, which could be good or ill."

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Experts Discuss Ethical, Social and Policy Issues of Artificial Intelligence

First Carnegie Mellon University - K&L Gates Conference on Ethics and AI

Center faculty member David Danks served as co-chair for the first Carnegie Mellon University - K&L Gates Conference on Ethics and AI April 9-10. The conference, sponsored by the K&L Gates Endowment for Ethics and Computational Technologies, focused on issues surrounding the equity of access and impact, trust in human-machine relationships, policy and regulation of technological advances, and the potential for technology to empower people.

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Cancer centers sell out science when they advertise clinical trials as treatment

London co-authors piece in JAMA Oncology

Center Director Alex London co-authored an article on advertising clinical trials, arguing that such messaging is not only misleading but also undermines the very norms of science that clinical trials — and cancer centers themselves — are supposed to advance.

From Automation to Autonomy and the Ubiquity of Moral Decision Making

Alex London at the Robotics Institute

Center Director Alex London gave a talk at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

Kevin Zollman Receives Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellowship

Fellowship designed to enable mid-career scholars to pursue systematic training in areas outside of their specializations

Center faculty member Kevin Zollman received an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation New Directions Fellowship. The two-year, $190K award will enable Zollman, a philosopher and game theory expert, to study behavioral and complexity economics. Roughly one dozen New Direction Fellowships are awarded each year.

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Driverless Cars and 5 Ethical Questions

Is the car making the choice or are we?

Center faculty member David Danks talked with the Australian Broadcasting Company about trust and a moral code when it comes to driverless vehicles.

Ethics and AI Systems

Alex London at the Pittsburgh Humanities Festival

Center Director Alex London gave a talk about the Ethics and AI systems at the Pittsburgh Humanities Festival.

The ethics of AI: Robots will rise, but will they rule us all?

David Danks talks to GeekWire

Center faculty member David Danks talked to GeekWire about the Ethics of AI and how the robotic future will affect the human species.

Kevin Zollman Talks Game Theory with

Video Series Tackles Strategies and Tactics of Game Theory

Center Faculty member Kevin Zollman is featured in this series of videos from talking about game theory and how it applies to everyday life. Videos include How game theory solves tough negotiations, How to outfox someone who's smarter than you, and Take it or leave it: How to control a negotiation like a game theorist.

Just How Divided Are Americans Since Trump's Election?

Robert Cavalier talks to

Center Faculty member and Director of the Program for Deliberative Democracy Robert Cavalier weighed in on this History Channel look at the "state of our disunion."

How to End International Tax Competition

Danielle Wenner and Kevin Zollman in NYT Opinion

Center Associate Director Danielle Wenner and Center faculty member Kevin Zollman wrote an op-ed for the New York Times on the GOP tax plan, game theory and international tax competition.

GovTrack Teams with Program for Deliberative Democracy

Site Adopts Citizen Input Feature

GovTrack, a nationally recognized civics site that explains the daily activities of the United States Congress, has teamed up with Carnegie Mellon University’s Program for Deliberative Democracy to develop and implement an enhanced voter-input feature. The Program for Deliberative Democracy is lead by Center faculty member Robert Cavalier, teaching professor, emeritus.

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Alex John London Endowed Chair Celebrated

Reception held for Clara L. West Professor of Ethics and Philosophy

Center Director Alex John London was named the Clara L. West Professor of Ethics and Philosophy in July, and his endowed chair was celebrated on October 24. Carnegie Mellon Interim President Farnam Jahanian, Dietrich Dean Richard Scheines, and Department Head David Danks gave remarks about Professor London's achievements at a reception with colleagues, family and friends. See photos from the event.

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Danielle Wenner at ASBH

Social Value Requirement in Biomedical Research

Center Associate Director Danielle Wenner presented at the annual American Society for Bioethics and Humanities conference on the social value requirement in biomedical research.

"Frankenstein"'s 200th Anniversary Inspires Discussions on Technology, AI

David Danks on Panel

Center faculty member David Danks participated in a panel discussion titled "Creation and Consequence" where scholars from around Carnegie Mellon University discussed their roles as academics studying technological developments, as well as opportunities to influence how artificial intelligence is developed ethically.

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David Danks at IEEE TechEthics Conference

Will Neuroscience Research Lead to Conscious AI?

Center faculty member David Danks spoke at the IEEE TechEthics Conference in Washington D.C. on October 13. There was a series of panels at the conference addressing significant and provocative questions related to artificial intelligence, autonomous transportation, neuroscience and ethics education. Danks participated in the session, "Will Neuroscience Research Lead to Conscious AI?"

Lisa Parker Gave Lectures at Research Ethics Conference

Fogarty International Center (FIC) Training Program in Research Ethics in China

CEP affiliate member Lisa Parker traveled in China as part of a Fogarty International Center (FIC) Training Program in Research Ethics and provided lectures as part of an FIC-supported research ethics conference in Dalian, as well as at Dalian Medical University and Shanghai Mental Health Center, addressing ethical guidance for conducting psychiatric research and public health ethics. The program took place October 11-16.

Controversial AI ‘Gaydar’ Study Spawns Backlash, Ethical Debate

Center Director Alex John London talks Ethics with NBC News

CEP Director Alex John London weighs in on ethical implications of new study.

Kevin Zollman Gave Talk at Carnegie Science Center

21+ Night had "Gaming" Theme

CEP faculty member Kevin Zollman gave a talk on how game theory applies to everyday life, and will discuss his book The Game Theorist's Guide to Parenting at the Carnegie Science Center's Gaming 21+ Night, September 8.

The Macro and the Micro of Parenting

Kevin Zollman Featured on a16z Podcast

CEP faculty member Kevin Zollman weighed in on the a16z podcast about how economics and game theory can apply to parenting.

Pittsburgh Summer Program

Lisa Parker Seminar at the University of Pittsburgh

CEP affiliate faculty member Lisa Parker taught a seminar on the ethics of genetic enhancement for the Center for Philosophy of Science’s Pittsburgh Summer Program 1: A Summer Program in Philosophy of Science for Underrepresented Groups, July 10 to July 14, 2017.

Why, Robot? Understanding AI ethics

Maybe we're headed for a robo-pocalpse, but let's deal with these other problems first, eh?

Center Director Alex London talked to the Register about AI ethics, machines and intent.

Alex John London Receives Clara L. West Professorship in Ethics and Philosophy

Center Director Recognized with Chair

Alex John London has been appointed the Clara L. West Professor of Ethics and Philosophy. A prominent ethicist who is frequently called upon to address critical problems nationally and internationally, London researches foundational ethical issues in human-subjects research, issues of social justice, the ethics of autonomous technologies and methodological questions in theoretical and applied ethics.

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Danielle Wenner Gave Bioethics Grand Rounds at Cleveland Clinic

"Standards of Treatment and Prevention in International Clincal Research"

Center Associate Director Danielle Wenner gave a Bioethics Grand Rounds at the Cleveland Clinic on "Standards of Treatment and Prevention in International Clinical Research."

Yael Schenker receives funding award

Research on Quality of Life in Advanced Stages of Illness

Affiliate faculty member Yael Schenker has received an award from the Palliative Care Research Cooperative to study "Associations between Polypharmacy, Symptom Burden, and Quality of Life in Patients with Advanced, Life-Limiting Illness".

Danielle Wenner to Explore Ethics and Exploitation in Brocher Residency

Wenner has been selected to participate in the Brocher Summer Residency Program in Geneva, Switzerland

Is it ethical to "rent out" a disadvantaged woman’s womb? What can scientists do to ensure the autonomy of clinical research subjects? These are just a couple of the questions on the mind of Carnegie Mellon University’s Danielle Wenner. Wenner has been selected to participate in the Brocher Summer Residency Program in Geneva, Switzerland, where she will spend July 2018 working on a project titled "Non-Domination and the Limits of Relational Autonomy."

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The Ethics of Time Travel

"Traveling Through Time: Exploring the Ethical Boundaries of Future Technology"

Professor Mara Harrell's Spring Carnival talk, "Traveling Through Time: Exploring the Ethical Boundaries of Future Technology," was part of CMUThink, an Alumni Association program designed to provide continued intellectual engagement for CMU's alumni community through regional events, webinars and discussions.

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Robert Cavalier May Be Retiring, But He's Not Slowing Down

Philosophy Professor Brought Deliberative Democracy to CMU, Pittsburgh and Beyond

Carnegie Mellon University’s Robert Cavalier may be retiring this June, but he doesn’t plan on slowing down. Instead, he will devote his time as teaching professor, emeritus to several projects that have been in the works for years.

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Ethics in Reconstructive Transplantation

First International Workshop

Affiliate faculty member and Director of the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Bioethics and Health Law Lisa Parker spoke at the First International Workshop on Bioethical Challenges in Reconstructive Transplantation at the Brocher Foundation in Geneva.

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David Danks Wins 2017 Andrew Carnegie Fellowship

Danks’ Project Will Explore Trust and Autonomous Technologies

Carnegie Corporation of New York has named Carnegie Mellon University’s David Danks a 2017 Andrew Carnegie Fellow. The 35 selected fellows will receive a total of $7 million in funding, or $200,000 each, making it the most generous stipend for humanities and social sciences research available.

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Precision Medicine

Parker at PAGC

Lisa Parker spoke at the Pennsylvania Association of Genetic Counselors annual spring meeting about "Precision Medicine's Promise(s) and Problems: Ethics and Public Perception".

Don’t return to the democratic dark ages

Keep Ranked Voting

Kevin Zollman wrote an Op-Ed for the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minn., about ranked voting.

Don’t Turn It Off

Guest Post by Danielle Wenner

Danielle Wenner wrote a guest blog post for the Daily Nous.

National Academies Committee Outlines Steps To Combat Disease Epidemics

Prepared by the Committee on Clinical Trials During the 2014-15 Ebola Outbreak

Using key lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine has outlined how to improve the speed and effectiveness of clinical trial research while an epidemic is occurring.

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Self-driving, but not self-regulating

Self-driving cars need more oversight

Alex John London and David Danks wrote a story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on regulation of self-driving vehicles.

Researcher Award

Yael Schenker recognized by Society of General Internal Medicine

Affiliate faculty member Yael Schenker received the Society of General Internal Medicine's Outstanding Junior Investigator of the Year Award, which recognizes a member for career achievement in research.

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Return of Genetic Research Results

Ethical Considerations in NIH All of Us Program

Affiliate faculty member Lisa Parker spoke on the Ethical Considerations panel at the All of Us Return of Genetic Results Workshop in Bethesda.

Full Workshop Program

Alexander Heffner

Host of Open Mind on PBS

The Center for Ethics and Policy hosted Alexander Heffner, host of The Open Mind on PBS, for a talk on The Future of Civil Discourse.

Regulating Autonomous Systems

Danks & London Paper in IEEE

CEP Faculty David Danks and Alex London published a paper on ethics and regulation of autonomous systems that has been featured in the New Scientist and Citylab.

Full Publication

Pittsburgh Models Deliberative Democracy

CEP's PDD Partners with City

Through deliberative democracy, ordinary citizens are empowered to play an active role in policy decisions. With help from CEP’s Program for Deliberative Democracy (PDD), the City of Pittsburgh is becoming a national model for this community-driven approach to addressing important issues.

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Inaugural CEP Workshop

Exploitation & Coercion

The Center for Ethics and Policy hosted its inaugural workshop on the topics of Exploitation and Coercion. In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the publication of Alan Wertheimer's seminal work Exploitation, the CEP brought together experts from around the world for two days of thinking and talking about the theoretical underpinnigs of exploitation and coercion and implications for important current topics in applied ethics and policy. The Center was pleased to welcome Richard Arneson as its keynote speaker.

Conference Website

Global Pharmaceuticals

Sources of Ethical Responsibility

CEP Director Alex London spoke at the Ethical Issues in Marketing Pharmaceuticals in Emerging Health Systems Conference at Seton Hall Law School, in a talk titled, "Sources of Ethical Responsibility for the Global Pharmaceutical Industry".

University Level Distinction

Robert Arnold Receives New Honor

CEP Faculty Member and Chair of Patient Care in the Department of Medicine at University of Pittsburgh was one of 13 Pitt faculty members honored with a Distinguished University Chair.

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New Endowed Chair

L.L. Thurstone Professor of Philosophy and Psychology

CMU Philosophy Department Head and CEP Faculty David Danks was named the L.L. Thurstone Professor of Philosophy and Psychology.

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Who Owns the Dead?

New Perspective on 9/11 Recovery Process

In the new book Who Owns the Dead? The Science and Politics of Death at Ground Zero, CEP's Jay Aronson details the cultural and political reasons behind why the promise was made to spare no expense in trying to identify every victim and human body part larger than a thumbnail, and why living up to the task has been so challenging.

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Local Medical Advertising

Concerns about Impacts on Patients

CEP Faculty members Yael Schenker and Alex London contribute their thoughts on the recent trend of local health systems using actual patients in emotional television ads.

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Whose Lives Should be Saved?

Deliberative Fora in Social Decision-Making

Recent research on the use of deliberative fora to inform resource allocation during a public health emergency was spotlighted in the NYTimes. CEP members Robert Cavalier and Alex London were among the researchers conducting fora around this question in several neighborhoods in Baltimore.

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To Serve and Protect

Addressing Police Violence

CEP Faculty Jay Kadane weighed in on the recent spate of police killings in the US over at the Huffington Post.

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Standards of Prevention in HIV Research

2016 Society for Applied Philosophy

CEP Faculty Danielle Wenner presented joint work with Director Alex John London at this year's Society for Applied Philosophy conference in Belfast. Their current work looks at how determinations are made about the appropriate standard of prevention in prevention research.


Rebellion, Resistance, Revolution

2016 Association for Social & Political Philosophy

CEP Associate Director Danielle Wenner presented joint work with Derrick Gray (CMU Philosophy Visiting Scholar) at the 2016 ASPP Conference. This year's conference theme was "Rebellion, Resistance, Revolution".


2016 Brocher Summer Academy

Population-Level Bioethics

Center faculty Danielle Wenner was an invited speaker at the 2016 Brocher Summer Academy in Population-Level Bioethics. This year's summer academy focused on the Ethical Design of Randomized Trials in Development Economics and Health Systems Research.

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Keynote Speaker

2016 Formal Epistemology Workshop

Center faculty member Kevin Zollman was a Keynote Speaker at the 2016 Formal Epistemology Workshop hosted by the University of Groningen.

Conference Website

Democracy in Action

What Does Direct Deliberative Democracy Look Like?

Center faculty member and director of CMU's Program for Deliberative Democracy Robert Cavalier shared his thoughts on what direct deliberative democracy looks like in Pennsylvania.

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Game Theory & Parenting

Interview on BYU Radio

Associate Professor Kevin Zollman was interviewed by BYU radio this week about his new book, The Game Theorist's Guide to Parenting.

Listen Here

Uppsala Forum

Translational Medicine and Accelerated Access

Professor Alex London spoke at the Uppsala Forum on Pharmacovigilance about translational medicine and the implications of accelerated access.

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Brazil Zika Risk

Experts Warn of Zika at 2016 Summer Olympics

Center Director Alex John London is one of 150 experts who say that the 2016 Summer Olympics should be moved or postponed due to Zika in a letter to thw WHO.

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Wimmer Faculty Fellow

Funding for "Game Theory Through Games"

Assistant Professor Adam Bjorndahl was selected as a Wimmer Faculty Fellow at the Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation. Dr. Bjorndahl was awarded the fellowship for his proposal "Game Theory Through Games", which will enhance his Game Theory course with new interactive activities.

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Teaching Innovation Award

Argument Diagramming as Pedagogical Tool

Dr. Mara Harrell was honored with a Teaching Innovation Award for her development and implementation of argument diagrammming as a central tool in teaching philosophy.

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Philosophy, Politics, and Law

Ethics in International Affairs

CEP Associate Director Danielle Wenner spoke at the Binghamton Conference on Ethical Issues in International Affairs, about the ethics of "Boycotting Labor Injustice".

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APA Research Spotlight

Exploitation in International Research

Assistant Professor Danielle Wenner was interviewed by the American Philosophical Association's blog for their Early Career Research Spotlight series. The interview includes details about her work on exploitation and the ethics of international research, the importance of doing philosophy with practical applications, and teaching global ethics to Carnegie Mellon undergrads.

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